Appeal an Investigation Decision

Appeal a Denied or Revoked Security Clearance

You can appeal a decision if your security clearance is denied or revoked by DCSA Consolidated Adjudication Services (CAS) or an adjudication facility.

The process is different for military and civilian personnel and contractors. Executive Order 12968, "Access to Classified Information," describes the process for military and civilian personnel. Executive Order 10865, "Safeguarding Classified Information Within Industry," describes the process for contractors. In each case, speaking with your agency’s or company’s security office is the best way to find out how to appeal a decision.

Appeal as a Contractor

The Defense Office of Hearings and Appeals (DOHA) handles the denial, revocation and appeal process for contractors. You may request a hearing before a DOHA administrative judge to make a case and will have the opportunity to cross-examine witnesses. The administrative judge will make a decision at the end of the hearing.
If denied or revoked by the administrative judge, you can appeal the decision to the Appeal Board. The Appeal Board will review the case file and make a decision. This decision is final and concludes the appeal process. At the end of the appeal process, if your clearance is still revoked or denied, you may not reapply if for a security clearance for one year from the date of the final decision.

Re-apply for a Security Clearance

You may reapply for a security clearance through your employer if there’s a need for access to classified information. You’ll need to provide documentation that the circumstances or conditions which resulted in the denial or revocation are rectified or sufficiently mitigated to allow reconsideration. DCSA Consolidated Adjudication Services (CAS) or an adjudication facility may accept or reject the reapplication.

Appeal Non-Clearance Adjudications/Decisions

You might be subject to credentialing and suitability or fitness determinations in addition to national security determinations.

Policies for these determinations vary by the type of position. Appeal processes also vary by position. If available, you will be notified of the process and requirements for appealing a decision by the adjudicating agency. Questions about which process applies or how the process works should be directed to your agency.

For example, you can appeal a decision to the Merit Systems Protection Board when suitability action is taken in accordance with title 5, Code of Federal Regulations part 731 for the following positions:

  • Positions in the competitive service;

  • Positions in the excepted service that non-competitively convert to the competitive service; or

  • Career appointments to the Senior Executive Service 

In the example above, the adjudicating agency provides written notice of the decision and includes the requirements for filing an appeal.